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Long-time real estate mover-and-shaker remembered

By Staff | Jul 23, 2020

A long-time Southwest Florida resident with deep ties in the real estate community has passed on.

Joe Interbartolo — founder, broker, and President of the award winning real estate company Century 21 Birchwood Realty of Cape Coral / Fort Myers for over 40 years — passed away July 12 at the age of 81 and is remembered fondly by many in the industry in which he made an impact.

“Joe was a true leader who has shaped and trained the careers of many agents in Fort Myers and Cape Coral,” said long-time Cape Coral Realtor Gloria Tate of Raso Realty. “I will always remember his great smile and mild manner. He was genuine, a man of strong faith and integrity. Joe was a member of our association, served on many of our committees and was a Board of Director for the Cape Coral Association of Realtors.

“His love of God, love of family and love for his agents was evident in everything he did.”

Fran Davis, Interbartolo’s general manager at Birchwood for 25 years said the office was a second family for her.

“Joe was very dedicated to his real estate business,” Davis said. “It was a family. Everybody knew everybody. It was a fun place to go to work and he always made it fun — a real family affair.”

Interbartolo was a Boston native and Air Force veteran. He moved to Cape Coral in 1976 after obtaining his real estate license and working in the New England area for six years.

Interbartolo received his real estate license in Florida and opened Birchwood Realty in 1977. In 1980, he expanded into a franchise with Century 21, becoming Century 21 Birchwood Realty, Inc.

Interbartolo also was a founding member of First Assembly of God Cornerstone Church in Fort Myers where he was active for more than 30 years. He played a big role in the construction of the church and was heavily involved in Men’s Ministry, Kid’s Club, Evangelism and Bible Study. He was on the Teen Challenge Board of Directors for 4 years and was involved with the Teen Challenge Men’s Ministry for over 25 years.

“Joe did a lot of good things for the community,” Davis said. “He was always volunteering his time with the church. He and (his wife) Camille were instrumental in getting that church going.

“Every Tuesday night he’d go out on Martin Luther King Boulevard and grill hot dogs and hamburgers for anyone who wanted to stop by and eat.”

His two daughters, Nadine and Francine, worked alongside their father and still work at the Birchwood office on Del Prado Boulevard by the Coronado Parkway intersection. Interbartolo also has a son, Michael.

Davis said her time working for Interbartolo was rewarding and gave her the chance to grow. She now owns her own office: 4 Seasons Realty in Cape Coral.

“He was very dedicated to Century 21, and they were to him,” Davis said. “Several times we were the Grand Centurion Office – many times in a row. If you go there you can see all of the trophies we won as an office.”

There will be an open house celebration of Interbartolo’s life at Century 21 Birchwood Realty at 4040 Del Prado Blvd. July 24 from 5-8 p.m.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj